Relief for Kids with Colds
The weather is changing and cold & flu season is about to kick into high gear! This can be especially hard on children and parents as well. Dealing with a child's runny nose, sneezing, and coughing is definitely not easy especially when you can't seem to find relief for the little one. Be sure to watch your child's symptoms and call your pediatrician if the conditions worsen but here are some remedies to help your little one get relief this cold & flu season:
1) Lots of rest (all ages) It takes energy to fight an infection, and that can wear a child (or an adult) out. When your child's resting, he's healing, which is exactly what he needs to do.
2) Steamy air (all ages) Breathing moist air helps loosen the mucus in the nasal passages. A warm bath has the added benefit of relaxing your child. This can be achieved using a humidifier or a steamy bathroom.
3) Saline drops and bulb syringes (all ages) Drops clear the nose when kids are too young to blow their nose. For babies, a bulb syringe really comes in handy if a stuffy nose interferes with breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. Try using it about 15 minutes beforehand. Clearing a stuffy nose with a bulb syringe works best for young babies, but if your older baby or child doesn't mind the procedure, there's no reason not to do it.
4) Vapor rubs (3 months and up) Vapor rubs may help kids sleep better at night. Many of us remember being rubbed with a potent eucalyptus, camphor, and menthol vapor rub when we were sick as children. Research suggests that these ingredients actually have no effect on nasal congestion, but they make the cold sufferer feel as though she's breathing better by producing a cooling sensation in the nose.
5) Extra fluids (6 months and up) Drinking plenty of fluids helps prevent dehydration and flushes and thins your child's nasal secretions.
6) Chicken soup and other warm liquids (6 months and up) Warm liquids can be very soothing and help relieve congestion. Studies have shown that chicken soup actually relieves cold symptoms like aches, fatigue, congestion, and fever.
7) Elevating the head (12 months and up) By elevating your child's head while he or she sleeps can help your baby breathe more comfortably.
8) Honey (12 months and up) Honey coats and soothes the throat and helps tame a cough.
9) Nose blowing (2 years and up) Clearing the nose of mucus helps your child breathe and sleep more easily and generally makes him feel more comfortable. And he'll be nicer to look at, too!
10) Neti pot (4 years and up) A neti pot flushes a mild saline solution through the nasal passages, moisturizing the area and thinning, loosening, and rinsing away mucus. Think of it as nasal irrigation.
11) Gargling with salt water (4 years and up) Gargling with salt water is a time-honored way to soothe a sore throat. It also helps clear mucus from the throat. While scientists haven't determined exactly why it works, studies have shown that the remedy is effective.
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